Is God Just a Delusion? I.1. Brief No-nonsense Definition of Religion

by Philip Jonkers

Still a work in progress. Part I is still closer to being finished, but Good God what a lot of work this is. Part II is still in the mill and a little birdie tells me it will remain in that very same mill still for some time to come. (3-may-15)

Still going at it full throttle. (27-jul-15)

I.1. What is religion?…
I.1.1. Uniform artificial morality
I.1.2. Uniform prescription of life-style
I.1.3. Squeezing and squirming in the callous and cold behavioral mold
I.2. Idolatry 101 – Crash Course Modern Anatomy of Idolatry
I.2.1. What is Idolatry?
I.2.1.1. Idols (still) demand (human) sacrifices
I.2.1.2. The double error lying at the heart of idolatry
I.2.2. Religious idolatry
I.2.2.1. Positive Idolatry versus Negative Idolatry
I.2.2.2. Concrete Idolatry versus Abstract Idolatry
I.2.2.3. Supporting the practice of idolatry with blind pride
I.2.2.4. Defending air-castles built on idols
I.2.2.5. Promoting ignorance while fixating on superficiality
I.2.3. Principal kinds of religious idolatry
I.2.3.1. Condemnation of idolatry by Abrahamic religions
I.2.3.2. The four heretofore unrecognized kinds of idolatry professed by religion
I.2.3.3. Ensuring addiction to religious idols
I.2.4. Introducing Self-idolatry
I.2.4.1. Rudimentary Self-idolatry – The tale of Narcissus
I. Moral lessons derived from the tale of Narcissus
I. Modern tale of Narcissus, “Devil’s Advocate” (1997)
I.2.4.2. Positive-Attention-Seeking versus Negative-Attention-Avoiding
I.2.4.3. The addictive character of narcissism
I. “The Narcissism Epidemic” strongly suggests, yet not explicitly states, that narcissism is an addiction
I. The pompous praise-demanding pink elephant in the living room
I.2.4.4. Developing Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry in response to the presence of a blaming, shaming narcissist
I.2.4.5. Overt Self-idolatry versus Covert Self-idolatry
I.3. Introducing the unrecognized practice of counterfeiting God’s authority
I.3.1. Falsifying the blessing of the highest possible metaphysical authority
I.3.1.1. How to recognize when God’s authority has been counterfeited
I.3.1.2. Estimating the severity of the moral crime of counterfeiting God’s authority
I.3.1.3. Declaration of absence of divine authority in my own person
I.3.2. Counterfeiting God’s authority in the Bible
I.3.3. Counterfeiting God’s authority in the Qur’an
I.3.4. Blackmail of the soul in the Qur’an
I.3.5. Spiritual extortion in Catholicism
I.3.6. Reading into scripture to facilitate blackmail of the soul
I.3.6.1. Spiritual extortion by the Christian volunteer ministry
I.3.7. Would God even be willing to submit to (humanly drafted) rules? God, a Rule-idolater?
I.3.7.1. Worshiping a humanly-reduced interpretation, or image, of God – Introducing God-idolatry
I.3.8. Counterfeiting God’s authority in “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005)
I.3.8.1. Killing infidels to secure a place in heaven?
I.3.8.2. Is suffering a crippling disease a punishment from God?
I.3.8.3. Waging war with God on your side?
I.4. The Toxic Effects of Unmitigated Shaming on Child-development
I.4.1. On the Dynamics of Guilt, Shaming and Soothing in Parent-Child Relationships
I.4.1.1. The punitive and destructive Shaming Inner Parent versus the restorative and constructive Soothing Inner Parent
I.4.2. Fostering or stunting the development of autonomy and empathy – Embracing Love or Power
I.4.2.1. “Empathy as a catalyst of autonomy” – On the origin of autonomy and empathy
I.4.2.2. Empathy and the Moral Law of Cause and Effect
I. The world of the idol is a world of power, destruction and moral retardation
I.4.2.3. Embracing power as a means to protect the self against suffering shame
I.4.2.4. Male-chauvinistic men stuck in the behavioral straitjacket that some call the “Man box
I. The tremendous debilitating cost to society of destroying personal autonomy and its derivative capacity for empathy
I.5. Systematic Punitive Shaming practiced by Jehovah’s Watchtower Society
I.5.1. The Watchtower Society’s practice of Traumatic Punitive Shaming called “Disfellowshipping
I.5.1.1. In spite of Christian claim, attributing higher importance to idolizing Jehovah organization than caring for human beings
I.5.2. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses will Survive Armageddon and subsequently enter into Eternal Perfect Paradise
I.5.2.1. Outsiders who do not know Jehovah, including their children, will meet eternal death and destruction
I.5.3. Why the Watchtower Society Cannot (Solely) be Guided by God
I.5.3.1. The many date-specific prophecies of “God’s only organization” consistently fail(ed) to come true
I.5.3.2. Fatal doctrinal contradiction on attitude towards the practice of idolatry
I. Promoting Idolatry of the Jehovah System YET formally prohibiting all practices of idolatry
I.5.3.3. Implicitly sacrificing human lives on the altar devoted to Idolatry of the Jehovah System
I.5.4. The Other Unrecognized Forms of Idolatry practiced by the Jehova’s Witnesses
I.5.4.1. The Watchtower Society practices Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.2. The Watchtower Society practices Rule-idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.3. The Watchtower Society practices hierarchical Group-idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I. Salvation not solely by Grace of God but also by Works – driven like slaves to go on “door-to-door” service-ministry
I. Notwithstanding Christian orientation, further promoting Group-idolatry by teaching to hate enemies and to shun certain kinds of neighbors
I. Promoting a public image of persistent yet artificial group-happiness
I. Hated by “all the nations” and with Armageddon (forever) pending, finding protection with the “anointed” leadership of the Watchtower
I.5.4.4. The Watchtower Society practices Idolatry of Human Authority based on Scripture-idolatry
I. Idolizing the founder and first president of the Watchtower Society, Charles Taze Russell
I. Supporting Human-Authority~idolatry by behaving in perfect obedience to Jehovah’s “elders”
I.5.4.5. The Watchtower Society practices Idolatry of Spiritual Authority rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I. Jehovah must be a wasteful and inept creator-god when having to order destruction of billions of specimen of his “highest creation
I. Although the Watchtower advertises him as the Most High God, Jehovah actually does not lead in love, he follows in love
I.5.5. Held Captive by Jehovah using the Lure of an Exclusive Fairy-tale Future and a Paralyzing Mix of Fear and Guilt
I.5.5.1. In the grip of the many fears promoted by the Watchtower
I.5.5.2. Bogged down by ample artificial guilt instilled by the Watchtower
I.5.5.3. Bound by trauma to the Jehovah leadership, dreading the iron rod ruling of the Judicial Committee
I.5.5.4. Exerting mind control power by exploiting sinner’s artificial guilt
I. Suffering under the mesmerizing spell of the Watchful elders of Jehovah
I. By punishing the offender, the Watchtower also punishes the local community socially-connected to the offender
I. Uncompassionate punishment promotes sadistic and callous traits to emerge in the congregation
I.5.5.5. Moral ramifications for being pardoned by a human arbiter for a real moral crime
I.5.5.6. The Watchtower Society sustains a breeding ground for social maladjustment
I.6. The Cost of Strict Religious Adherence for Child-development and Society-at-large
I.6.1. Drawing Fear from Religious Persuasion to Manipulate and Intimidate Children
I.6.1.1. Under the morally dubious cloak of religion, depriving children of individuality and autonomy
I.6.1.2. Strict religious adherence compromises use of defensible reason in teaching children what they are not supposed to do
I.6.1.3. When the cost is so high for everyone, why subject children to morally murky rigorous religious upbringing?
I.7. Promoting the Manichean worldview – Introducing Group-idolatry
I.7.1. What is the Manichean Worldview?
I.7.2. The serious evils of Group-idolatry
I.7.2.1. Christian Group-idolatry
I.7.2.2. Killing human beings in the name of God
I.7.3. Denial and projection of psychic shadow
I.7.3.1. Why religionists like to shame other people
I.7.4. Fanning the flames of inter-group strife
I.7.5. Manichean madness and Chris “American Sniper” Kyle
I.7.5.1. Basic moral error of Manichean logic
I.8. Worship of scripture – Introducing Scripture-idolatry
I.8.1. What is Scripture-idolatry?
I.8.2. Idolizing Abrahamic scriptures
I.8.3. Proving the imperfection of Abrahamic scriptures
I.8.3.1. Contradictions in the Bible
I.8.3.2. The New Testament contradicting the Old Testament
I.8.3.3. Contradictions in the Qur’an
I.8.4. Reverse-ordered Controlled Demolition of Abrahamic Scripture-idols
I.8.5. Substituting Stupendous Con with Chief Moral Objectives
I.9. Worship of the law – Introducing Law-idolatry
I.9.1. The irrationality and immorality of Law-idolatry
I.9.1.1. Court-case victories based on law-juggling rather than moral soundness
I.9.1.2. Had the abused actually been abusing the abuser instead?
I.9.2. Deriving Law-idolatry from Scripture-idolatry
I.9.3. Trauma-inflicting retributive justice-strategies
I.9.3.1. The fundamental problem with inflicting trauma in the name of justice
I.9.3.2. The seemingly sacred severing service of the sharpened sword
I.9.4. Replacing focus on morality by focus on legality
I.9.5. Law-worship and its barren moral content
I.9.5.1. Basing power on the practice of Law-idolatry
I.9.5.2. The priesthood has crafted to perfection the art of projection
I.9.6. Law-idolatry versus Universal Human Equality
I.9.6.1. Pope Francis: “Inequality is the root of social evil”
I.10. Worship of rules – Introducing Rule-idolatry
I.10.1. Tony Montana’s unflinching commitment to Rule-idolatry to protect kid-sister Gina, “Scarface” (1983)
I.10.2. Changing favored Rule-idol on joining self-help cult, Jim Carrey in “Yes Man” (2008)
I.10.2.1. Unreservedly submitting to the “Yes Man” Rule-idol
I.10.2.2. Exchanging service to the “No Man” Rule-idol for the “Yes Man” Rule-idol, under duress of shaming
I.10.2.3. The hierarchy of idolatry built around the “Yes Man” Rule-idol
I.10.3. Tolstoy’s commitment to the Christian non-resistance-to-evil Rule-idol
I.10.3.1. The human cost of adhering to the rule of perfect non-resistance to evil
I.10.3.2. Comparing the non-resistance-to-violence~principle to the Second Chief Moral Objective
I.10.3.3. Turning the other cheek as a means of shock absorption and to promote moral leadership
I. The cost of failing to turn the other cheek in “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
I.10.3.4. On the origin of Tolstoy’s personal need to resort to Rule-idolatry
I.10.4. The altar devoted to the worship of Britain’s anti-homosexuality Rule-idol claiming a human sacrifice in Alan Turing
I.10.4.1. Retroactive Moral Indictment of the cold-war era UK Government for callously violating the human rights of Alan Turing
I.10.4.2. While under the tyranny of the Homophobia~Rule-idol, sacrificing personal assets to have homosexual relationships in secret
I.10.4.3. My First Letter of Gratitude devoted to the Great Alchemist of Technology, Alan Turing
I.11. Loving parents versus worshiping parents – Introducing Parent-idolatry
I.11.1. What is Parent-idolatry?
I.11.1.1. Honoring parents according to the Bible
I.11.1.2. Honoring parents according to the Qur’an
I.11.2. The cost of Parent-idolatry
I.11.2.1. Why Moses is a poor authority on healthy child-parent relationships
I.11.2.2. The virtue of being honest and truthful to parents
I.11.2.3. If we may not dishonor parents, may we dishonor corrupt (parental) authority figures?
I.12. Worship of religious figures – Introducing Human-Authority~idolatry
I.12.1. What is Human-Authority~idolatry?
I.12.2. Worshiping the Authority-idol of Muhammad
I.12.2.1. The Qur’an practically equates Muhammad with God
I.12.2.2. Muhammad’s human imperfection
I.12.2.3. The fundamental problem with the practical deification of Muhammad
I.12.2.4. The Qur’an forbids the “placing of others beside Allah”
I.12.2.5. Responding to the Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo tragedies
I.13. Worship of Christian authority-figures
I.13.1. Condemnation of Person-idolatry in the Abrahamic scriptures
I.13.2. Worshiping the “Blessed Virgin Mary” – Mariolatry
I.13.2.1. Catholic doctrine supporting submission to “Virgin Mary”
I.13.2.2. Declaring Mary’s immaculate conception and heavenly ascension by counterfeiting God’s authority
I.13.2.3. What would Mary herself say of ending up the subject of idolization?
I.13.3. Worshiping Catholic Saints
I.13.3.1. Are the scores of Catholic Saints really all in heaven?
I.13.3.2. Rather than God, do Catholic clergy get to decide who goes to heaven?
I.13.3.3. Proposing an alternative worldview based on reincarnation
I. Living a conditionally-terminal series of lives instead of one single life
I. Working toward a next life that is either Heaven-on-earth or Hell-on-earth
I.13.3.4. Why saint-worship may be classified as Human-Authority~idolatry
I.13.3.5. Catholic doctrine based on Rule-idolatry based on Verse-idolatry
I. Verse-idolatry affecting all Abrahamic religions – Universal Verse-idolatry
I.13.4. Idolizing still-living Catholic clerical leaders
I.13.4.1. Scriptural support for the dogma of infallibility
I. Reading into scripture what you want, to get what you need
I.13.4.2. Creating a hierarchical platform for Human-Authority~idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.13.5. What about idolizing Jesus himself? – Introducing Jesus-idolatry
I.13.5.1. Militant “Christianity” – Jesus Camp (2006)
I.13.5.2. Militant “Christians” shaming on gays and lesbians
I. Wait, the musical-genius Freddie Mercury and the computer-pioneer Alan Turing are in “hell”?
I.13.6. The price of indulging in Person-idolatry
I.13.6.1. The toll for all those who idolize
I. North Korea’s cost for maintaining the Cult of Personality of the Kims
I.13.6.2. The toll for the idolized persons themselves
I.14. The Chief Moral Objectives and Universal Human Equality (certified 100% Idolatry-free!)
I.14.1. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – The Second Chief Moral Objective
I.14.1.1. Love your neighbor more than yourself – Your submission to your neighbor’s idolatry
I.14.1.2. Love your neighbor less than yourself – Your neighbor submitting to your idolatry
I. Your self-idol, like a subtle and invisible vampire, slowly and unnoticeably sucking you limp and dry, until you die
I. Making your neighbors submit to other idols that you promote
I. The Source of Eternal Life
I.14.1.3. Enabling to “Love your neighbor as yourself” by recognizing Universal Human Equality
I.14.2. Moses his poor reception of the Chief Moral Objectives
I.14.2.1. Deriving the Ten Commandments from a flawed interpretation of the Chief Moral Objectives
I.14.2.2. Moses the psychopathic and or sadistic punisher?
I. Counterfeiting God’s authority to rob and slaughter the people of Midian
I.14.2.3. Counterfeiting God’s authority in prescribing penalties for violating the Ten Commandments
I.14.2.4. Moses, the heartless megalomaniac – Proof that Moses his “Lord” was not God Almighty
I. Moses, the unrepentant and staunch counterfeiter of God’s authority
I.14.2.5. The inhumane double-standard inherent in Mosaic Law
I. Legal systems adopting and normalizing the conscience of a sadistic, vindictive psychopath
I.15. Idolatry of the organized whole – Introducing System-idolatry
I.15.1. Warranting the practice of idolatry by making it systematic
I.15.1.1. The systematization of the worship of the golden idol of Nebuchadnezzar II, the King of Kings
I. Interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s intriguing yet elusive dream
I. Legally mandating the rule which guarantees the systematic worship to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden Person-idol
I.15.2. Fostering fascistic System-idolatry in a High School setting – Ron Jones’ “Third Wave” (1967)
I.15.2.1. Introducing the first fascistic constitutional Law “Strength through discipline!
I.15.2.2. The second fascistic constitutional Law: “Strength through community!
I. The inherently addictive character of the fascistic System-idol
I.15.2.3. The third fascistic foundational Law: “Strength through action!
I. Socially-cannibalizing on fellow members to continue staying in the inherently addictive fascist group
I. The natural tendency of the fascistic System-idol to attract underachievers seeking solace and salvation in the group
I.15.2.4. The fourth and final fascistic foundational Law: “Strength through pride!
I.15.2.5. Strength through… understanding – Piercing the bubble that is fascistic Group-idolatry
I. Shame and guilt muffled away in the unconscious suddenly brought to the fore of conscious awareness
I. Recapitulation of Ron Jones’ fascistically-flavored System-idolatry
I.15.3. The System-idolatry of Philip Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment” (1971)
I.15.3.1. The “Stanford Prison Experiment” Prison-System-idol
I.15.3.2. The inhumane nature of the count ritual and the systematic dehumanization of the prisoners
I.15.3.3. Enforcing dependency to the worship of the Prison-System-idol
I.15.3.4. Key developments and aspects of the experiment
I. Prisoner rebellion already kicking in within 24 hours after starting experiment
I. Covering up the hideous real face of the prison with a smiley-face mask
I. Paranoia of the guards feeding an escalating punitive treatment of the prisoners
I.15.3.5. Exposure to the practice of Prison-System-idolatry causing the generation of a two-tiered “Manbox
I. Shutting down feelings, emotions and empathy
I. Bringing out the sadism in the guards
I.15.3.6. Forcing the prisoners to mirror the Prison-System-idol by way of Trauma Bonding
I. Little casual chit-chat going on in an all-consuming combative atmosphere saturated with negative idolatry
I.15.3.7. Does the power lie in the situation or in the response to the situation?
I.15.3.8. Why do some guards become cruel in a prison environment and others do not? – Affinity for System-idolatry
I. A closer look at the character of the cruel guard named Hellmann
I. Becoming cruel by way of self-fulfilling prophecy
I. A closer look at the character of the rebellious prisoner, Doug Korpi “8612
I.16. Introducing Absolute, Natural Conscience versus Relative, Artificial Conscience
I.16.1. What is Absolute, Natural Conscience versus Relative, Artificial Conscience?
I.16.1.1. Shaming without soothing leaves lingering AN-guilt
I.16.1.2. Masking a guilty AN-conscience by adopting a kind of idolatry that has a permissive yet deceptive RA-conscience
I.16.1.3. Introducing the concept of Moral Insanity = (Spiritual Insanity, Social Insanity)
I.16.2. Examples of various kinds of idolatry and their accompanying Moral Insanity
I.16.2.1. The Moral Insanity of Generic Narcissism
I.16.2.2. The Moral Insanity of Generic Group-idolatry
I.16.2.3. The Social Insanity of Victim Blaming – Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Self-idolatry
I. Victim-blaming under Sharia-law — Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Self-idolatry rooted in Gender-idolatry
I.16.2.4. Misogynistic Victim-Blaming in the Jehovah’s Witnesses — Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Gender-idolatry
I. An ex-JW blows the whistle on the misogyny happening in the Watchtower Society – The story of “Donna”
I. The professed Social Insanity by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the case of “Donna”
I. Proving to have the strength to face persecution by a religious cult of cowardice
I.16.2.5. The Social Insanity of punishing anonymously – Exploiting Idolatry of the Anonymous Self
I. The Social Insanity due to Anonymity-Warranting~Self-Idolatry occurring in warring primitive tribes
I.16.2.6. Social Insanity by denying the humanity of the victim – Exploiting Negative Idolatry
I.16.3. Promoting Moral Insanity under the cover of System-idolatry
I.16.3.1. The Moral Insanity of Nebuchadnezzar’s System-idolatry
I. The brave three young men who defied the King of Kings
I. The moral of the story – Submission to idols is futile and sterile
I.16.3.2. The Moral Insanity of Jane Elliott’s Racism-emulating “Blue-eyes superior, brown-eyes inferior” System-idolatry
I. Embracing Group-idolatry to facilitate visiting vengeance
I. Victims of Negative Idolatry seeking solace in compensatory Positive Idolatry
I.16.3.3. The Moral Insanity due to the Stanford Prison Experiment’s System-idolatry
I.16.3.4. The Moral Insanity owing to the System-idolatry practiced in Stanley Milgram’s experiments on Obedience
I. Milgram’s definition of System-idolatry and its supportive RA-conscience
I. Persisting in obedience to a dictatorial system for fear of being punished
I.17. Proving Invalidity of Published Testimonies about Visits to Hell
I.17.1. Mary K Baxter’s Not-so-Divine Revelation of Hell
I.17.1.1. The fundamental error of confusing Jesus with God Almighty
I.17.1.2. “Jesus” the rigorous militant, shows not one iota of mercy in “hell
I.17.1.3. Sinners and disbelievers “bound” for “hell” – Group-idolatry
I. Filling up “hell” with lesbians and homosexuals
I.17.1.4. Baxter’s Bible-worship – Scripture-idolatry
I.17.1.5. “Jesus” the Supreme Narcissist, demanding all worship from all “saved” souls
I. Turn, to the Supremely Narcissistic “Jesus, or Burn!
I.17.1.6. Mary K Baxter’s own doubtful spiritual health
I. Baxter promoting an Anti-Christian version of Christ
I. Baxter’s own demons
I.17.2. Bill Wiese’s Supposed “23 Minutes in Hell”
I.17.2.1. Wiese’s “Jesus” takes him on a visit to “Hell
I.17.2.2. Wiese’s “Jesus” counterfeits God’s authority
I.17.2.3. Bill Wiese’s practice of Jesus-idolatry based on Scripture-idolatry
I. “Choose” Eternal Bliss or Eternal Pain
I. Wiese’s practice of Scripture-idolatry
I. Wiese’s visually-challenged trust in “reputable” authorities
I.17.2.4. Shaming “sinners” from the pulpit of Scripture-idolatry
I.17.2.5. Estimating the psychological nature of Bill Wiese
I.17.3. Personal beliefs on hell and demons
I.17.3.1. Why I don’t believe in hell
I.17.3.2. What could be the purpose of demons (jinns), though?
I. The Grand Cosmic Mystery
I.17.3.3. Exploiting our drive to worship idols to manage waging war on us
I.18. Atmosphere of fear and emergency
I.18.1. Religion and its penchant to promote fear
I.18.1.1. Casting fear in the Bible and the Qur’an
I.18.1.2. Conserving or worsening fear in order to secure power and control
I.18.1.3. The tasty carrot and the rather BIG stick
I.18.2. Fear “fueling” the carnal mind
I.18.3. Fear and moral growth
I.18.4. Religious fear and idolatry
I.18.4.1. Practicing religious idolatry out of sheer fear
I.18.4.2. Exploiting fear for political purposes, the paradigm of terrorism
I.19. The carnal mind and the image – the ego and the idol
I.19.1. The ego’s weakness for idols
I.19.1.1. Drawing focus of attention away from inner being and unto external world
I.19.1.2. The superficiality of the ego and its affinity for idols
I.19.1.3. The unjust and cold-blooded execution of a Tolkienian Orc
I.19.2. Machiavelli’s idolization of the carnal mind
M. Movies Illustrating the practice of Various Kinds of Idolatry Poisoning the Human Experience
M.1. The interplay between Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry and Narcissism in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky I, II & III
M.1a. Holding ground against a powerful narcissist in the form of a boxing champion, “Rocky” (1976)
M.1a.1. Rocky’s first personal sacrifice on the altar of Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry
M.1a.2. The struggle against a shaming narcissist hellbent on treating his opponent as a punching bag
M.1a.3. “All I wanna do is go the distance…
M.1b. Continuing the struggle against a shaming, powerful and narcissistic adversary in “Rocky II” (1979)
M.1b.1. Feeling the heat from the narcissist’s incapacity to handle personal shame
M.1b.2. Apollo dying to reclaim lost stature by cannibalizing Rocky’s newfound dignity
M.1c. The fight against the spellbinding tyranny of elevated personal image in “Rocky III” (1982)
M.1c.1. Intoxicated by the worship attributed to his image, Rocky unknowingly sacrifices his precious Eye of the Tiger
M.1c.2. Adrian yanks Rocky back from his paralyzing Self-idolizing bewitchment to reality
M.2. Progressively sacrificing mental sanity to Status-Seeking~Self-idolatry, Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” (2013)
M.2.1. Doggedly clinging on to an expired Superiority Status
M.2.2. Jasmine sustains her first narcissistic injury in San Francisco
M.2.3. To Shame and to avoid Shame, that is the quest…
M.2.4. Jasmine ups the ante of her Self-idolatrous combativeness
M.2.5. Further descending into camouflaging inauthenticity when meeting a new guy
M.2.6. Slipping further into insanity by refusing to abandon avoidance and denial
M.2.7. The new bubble also bursts
M.2.8. The conflict between Ginger and Jasmine reaches its inevitable boiling point
M.2.9. Jasmine catches her combative boomerang full-on with her head, instead of her hand
M.3. Driven to commit moral crime in a Law-idolizing social environment, Sharon Stone & Ben Foster in Nick Cassavetes’ “Alpha Dog” (2006)
M.3.1. The hateful actions coming from a person convinced to be doomed for hell
M.3.2. Casually invading the home of a stranger driven by a sense of entitlement
M.3.3. Working toward becoming an object of hatred fueled by self-hatred
M.3.3.1. The paradox of the self-hating Nazi Jew
M.3.4. While under pressure from vindictive brother and Law-idolizing authorities, driven to moral crime by myopic selfishness
M.3.5. The heavy yoke the community is forced to carry due to the practice of Law-idolatry by the authorities
M.3.6. Replacing the societal burden of Law-idolatry by a morally-acceptable alternative
M.3.7. If drugs would have been decriminalized, the “Alpha Dog-tragedy would likely never even have happened
M.4. Victimized by the governmental practice of Drug-Law-idolatry, Edward Norton & Barry Pepper in Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” (2002)
M.4.1. Shaming others after realizing that oneself will become the object of shame for years to come – A Protracted Act of Projection
M.4.2. Sacrificing personal identity, (all) social contacts and one’s good looks on the implicit altar of Drug-Law-idolatry
M.4.3. Prosecuting the mutually-voluntary and mutually-satisfactory and non-violent business-practice of trading medicinal plant-material
M.4.4. The practice of Drug-Law-idolatry claiming human sacrifices drawn from the drug-seeking population
M.4.5. Punishing society at large with the idolatrous practice of immoral drug-laws
M.5. Sacrificing personal authenticity and integrity to Homophobic Rule-idolatry, Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
M.5.1. An authentic and open homosexual relationship is out of the question
M.5.2. The consequent emptiness of the marriage between Ennis and Alma
M.5.3. The consequent vacancy of the marriage between Jack and Lureen
M.6. Police brutality making “turning the other cheek” next to impossible, Sylvester Stallone in “Rambo – First Blood” (1982)
M.6.1. Introducing evil into the world by acting as if evil only exists outside of yourself and is out to get you
M.6.2. The Sheriff and deputies interpret Rambo’s failure to cooperate as defiance and a liability to their hegemony
M.6.3. Blinded by power-lust, the deputies proceed to dehumanize, abuse and humiliate a Rambo troubled by PTSD
M.6.4. Hunted down like a wild animal, driven to self-defense
M.6.5. The moral murkiness of equating obedience to the Sheriff with obedience to the Law

In 2006, the prominent English biologist Richard Dawkins published The God Delusion, a book in which the atheist frontrunner expounds his position based on a denial of God’s existence (i_little), argues for the {redundancy and dismissal} of religion as a whole, and submits his own version of a strong-atheistic worldview — i.e., one that is necessarily rooted in pure physicalism. (ii_little)

This Facebook-comment, Goodreads Review, article, paper, BLOGBOOK is a critical review. (well, that was the initial objective anyway)


…I applaud Dawkins for offering {fair and sound} critical assessments of religion. I sincerely welcome his tireless efforts to expose the many flaws of religion and to justifiably reject harmful practices that are (still) being exercised under the umbrella of religion, such as genital mutilation, corporal punishment, stoning, honor killings, not to mention penalties of death (including beheadings) and so on.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I.1. What is religion?…^

…but maintenance of {uniform artificial morality plus uniform prescription of lifestyle} = uniform {artificial morality + prescription of lifestyle}, yes? (i-a)

I.1.1. Uniform artificial morality


Orthodox Jewish family

Regarding morality, a religion, including its managerial priesthood, defines and administers an artificiallyconstructed uniform conscience on grouplevel: the consciences of all (lay) members, or (non-clerical) adherents of the religion — independent in free and unspoiled (natural) mature state — have been uniformly (=the same for all) redefined to {suit and accommodate} the mores (i.e., “commandments”) of that religion.

A religion broadly revolves around service to God in some {uniform and predetermined} sense by way of {promoting and enforcing} adherence to a set of specific {instructions and rules}: a traditional program of worship, if you will, telling you what you are to do (and routinely to rather great detail) and especially telling you what you are not to do (in the form of abiding by a set of (specific) prohibitions), . . . all for the goal of gaining and retaining the favor of God.

The priesthood makes sure you stick to and do not deviate from those precepts. But should you happen to do so; should you stoop to violate the held-as-sacred moral code; should you choose to lower yourself by breaching the muchtouted code of ethics that is factually worshiped by the religion, . . . then that same priesthood will see itself forced — as if its administering priests, while “completely” abnegating personal will of their own, are moved only by the (grotesquely punitive!) very HAND of “God” (i.e., the god (idol?) of Law) — to take good care” of your “guilty” conscience by way of castigating fiery reprimand (fire-and-brimstonesort-of-thing) and or substantially traumatic corporal or sometimes even capital punishment.

I.1.2. Uniform prescription of life-style

Miller Family revised

Amish Christian family

A good compliant religionist turns to scripture not just for moral counsel, but also for direction regarding more mundane, even trivial, customary matters of life such as dress-code and eating-etiquette.

After all, a religion typically tells you what to wear and when to wear it; how to dress hair, what to shave and what not to shave; what to eat, how to prepare it, when to eat it and what not to eat; when to pray or for what occasion to pray, how to pray and what to say when praying; when to go to mass or service (how many times a week and on what times) and what to do during mass or service (listening and or reading from an evergreen scripture, praying, singing, …); what bodyparts are to be covered up and during what occasions; what holidays to celebrate (e.g., Easter; Eid al-Fitr) or what {feats or occasions} of life to celebrate (e.g., baptism; Bar Mitzwa) and how these holidays and festivities are to be celebrated; … etc.

As such, apart from defining and administering an artificial moral code, religion formulates and hands down to you, the obedient adherent, a veritable laundrylist of {customary and decorative} rules for you to abide by in order to be a good (read: perfectly compliant and very meek) member of the flock (flock!, there you have your dead giveaway, eh?)

Since it prescribes (and to rather great detail as well) as to how you are to behave and how you are to decorate your life; or, rephrased, since it prescribes as to how you are to define the style of your life, that aforementioned laundrylist thus may be understood to be a prescription of lifestyle.

And since everyone adhering to the religion is given exactly the same prescription (although coming with likely circumstantial nuances determined by age and gender), we are necessarily speaking of a uniform prescription of lifestyle.

I.1.3. Squeezing and squirming in the callous and cold behavioral mold


Muslim family

A religion may therefore be regarded as a onesizefitsall kind of behavioral mold, {allowing and enforcing} only a relatively narrow range of permissible behavior, accompanied by a rigid and cold collective artificial conscience (a kind of collective Freudian SuperEgo: profoundly punitive and prohibitive at heart) by which the priests grant themselves the degree of mindcontrol power that (ideally) enables them to make sure you stay in that mold, using punitive slash retributive cruelty and fear.

Or, rephrased, religion may be perceived of as an amalgamation, a mix, of a rather spicy hot dictatorial flavor of politics and a splash and a sprinkle of spirituality; it defines and enforces its system of behavioral {policies and customs} — thus revealing religion as a political doctrine (of sorts) — in such a way as to be able to accommodate oneandonlyone fixed way to serve God, as articulated in the presumed-evergreen-though-never-actually-updated ancient founding scripture.

Hence, a religion may be understood as a static governmental form of spirituality of a rather totalitarian bent. For those not in the know, static means standingstill like a tonofbricks; totalitarian means that the priesthood will be micromanaging (all the various aspects of) your life, whether you like it or not, and also for the entire duration of your precious life, from birth to death, from cradle to grave.


The Catholics have their “Blessed Virgin Mary”…


The Muslims have their “Kaaba”…


The Jews have their “Western Wall”…

Little Feetnotes:

(i) When I write “God” (without quotation-marks), I mean God Almighty (or Almighty God or Allah, whichever term you prefer); when I write “god” (also without quotation-marks), I mean either a kind of divinity, a nonexisting divinity or a lesser divinity (than God Almighty, whom I sometimes, when I’m in a cheeky mood, like to call el Big Chief!). I use the plural form, “gods” (also still without quotation-marks), when I refer to divinities in a general conceptual sense, needing no further specification concerning composition and rank. (back2text)

(ii) Strong atheism is the belief in the existence of exactly zero gods; Weak atheism confesses a mere absence of belief in gods. When asked the question, “Does God exist?”, the strong atheist answers a confident, “No!”; whereas the weak atheist answers to not believe so, but is less confident than the strong atheist and, unlike the strong atheist, does not afford to hold any fixed beliefs concerning the existence of a possible God and “the spiritual”, in general.

Physicalism (also known as Materialistic Monism …) is the philosophical position that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties, and that the only existing substance is physical. ( In other words: matter is all there is (and thus in (only) matter lies, and could possibly lie, our “salvation”).

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I am quite frankly surprised by the existence of strong atheist philosophers, since they have so daringly chosen such a confident position on an asyet unresolved metaphysical issue. Personally, I find the natural indecisiveness and implicit prudence of the fence-sitting weak atheist a much more rational position than the sometimes almost cavalier blustering attitude of the strong atheist.(back2text)